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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Spanjian’

Meet your first parklet

It’s in the Heights, because of course it is. A parking space converted into Houston’s first parklet brought a mini-media frenzy — and fun street party — to 19th Street in the Heights, where New Living artisans, city officials and community supporters gathered to officially dedicate the green space outside New Living Bedroom Thursday morning. […]

One Bin For All RFPs

Yesterday was a big day for the One Bin for All proposal. Thursday [was] the deadline for private companies to submit bids to the city to build and run the facility. The bid guidelines call for a 75 percent diversion rate — that is, only 25 percent of solid waste should end up in landfills. […]

First Sunday Streets seemed like a success

The weather was kinda lousy but there were plenty of people out on White Oak Street on Sunday. The city of Houston closed a 2.5 mile stretch of Quitman and White Oak to motor vehicles for four hours on Sunday, encouraging Houstonians to play in the street and explore their neighborhoods pushing strollers or riding […]

The Trib writes about One Bin For All

Mostly familiar information if you’ve been following this story, but a good overview if it’s new to you. Laura Spanjian, Houston’s director of sustainability, says the city is spending millions to expand its conventional recycling service and is still evaluating all the options for its one-bin concept. The city hopes that the one-bin idea would […]

Texas cities embracing bicycles

It’s a good thing. In Fort Worth, the mayor hosts occasional bicycle rides called “Rolling Town Halls.” The Dallas City Council could may soon require new businesses to set aside space for bicycle parking. Over in El Paso, officials are developing plans for a bike-share system, which is expected to be the fifth such program […]

Chron wonders where B-Cycle is going

Last week in an unsigned editorial, the Chron asked a provocative question about B-Cycle. Are bicycle rental programs supposed to be legitimate transportation or merely toys for urban bohemians? New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante revealed Friday that her city’s attempts to make bike share more affordable, such as distributing free helmets and subsidizing Citi […]

City seeks One Bin For All RFQs

Calling all vendors. The city of Houston took a step forward on its “One Bin for All” project this week. The project would allow residents to discard trash and recyclables in one bin to be sorted at a new $100 million facility, which would be built and run by a private firm. On June 12, […]

New bike share kiosks now open

Woo hoo! Organizers of Houston’s bike-sharing program are excited about an increase in use of the community bicycles since 18 new kiosks around downtown and Midtown opened. After slow-going last year for the B-Cycle program, use of the bikes increased since the weekend, when word that many of the new stations were open spread on […]

City response on “One Bin For All”

Last week, I asked several environmental groups for feedback on the city’s One Bin For All proposal. I said I would follow up on that with the city. I have their response here, but before I get to it I want to report that I got some further feedback from David Weinberg of the Texas […]

In the HAUS

Meet Houston’s first housing co-op. Technically, this is HAUS, the Houston Access to Urban Sustainability Project, a housing co-op for those willing to work for their cheap rent and board by making meals, cleaning toilets and recycling – lots of recycling. The three founders, who had lived in or visited co-ops in other cities, began […]

Here comes that B-Cycle expansion

Excellent. Houston’s bike-sharing program downtown is getting a boost from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, city officials announced Wednesday. The insurance company will contribute $750,000 to expand the B-Cycle system from three stations and 18 bikes to 24 stations and about 200 bikes, the city said in a news release. “Bike Share is […]

More on the status of Houston’s bike sharing

From the Chron’s paysite: The expansion is a few months behind schedule, said Laura Spanjian, Houston’s sustainability director. She said federal reviews required under the $116,000 grant to start the bike-sharing program, and state historic preservation approvals for the locations, have proceeded more slowly than expected. The program, run by a nonprofit, Houston Bike Share, […]

San Antonio B-Cycle expands again

I’m truly impressed at how successful this has been. San Antonio’s newest B-Cycle bike sharing stations opened Friday at six new locations around South San Antonio. The new stations — located at Roosevelt Park, Concepcion Park, Mission Concepcion, Mission Road Street Connection, VFW River Trail Access and Mission San Jose — provide yet another way […]

“One Bin For All” in the running for prize money

This happened before the election, which now seems as a remote a time as the 19th century. Houston is one of 20 finalist cities from among the 305 nationwide that applied for a $5 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies for the boldest local initiative to address a national problem. The city’s proposal, “Total Reuse […]

One bin to rule them all

This would be an innovative approach to deal with Houston’s unacceptably low recycling rate. Under what is being called “Total Reuse: One Bin for All,” residents would wheel everything to the curb in one barrel and let the city sort it out. If Houston can find a private-sector partner to help it build what could […]

Houston Bike Share set to expand

Cool The plan has always been to expand the program, and Laura Spanjian, Mayor Annise Parker’s sustainability director, first alluded to a search for new locations in early June. “We’re going to have about 20 new kiosks and about 205 new bikes,” Spanjian now tells CultureMap. That would bring the total to approximately 225 bicycles inside of the Loop. Spanjian […]

Laura Spanjian – From Industrial to Green Revolution: The New Houston

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. Bike Share kiosks in downtown. Electric vehicle charging stations at the grocery store. Over 15 miles of new rail lines being constructed. Wind turbines and solar on rooftops. Solar-powered mini-offices at schools and parks. E-cycling and […]

The B-Cycle era begins

At long last, Houston’s B-Cycle program officially kicked off last week. Mayor Annise Parker, an occasional bicyclist, called the federally-funded program “a quick, easy alternative to being stuck in traffic or walking long distances in downtown.” She said the bicycles may help familiarize residents with downtown, an area she said many still consider “foreign territory.” […]

Going green to save some green

The city of Houston has made significant investments in energy savings. The U.S. Conference of Mayors named Mayor Annise Parker the winner of Mayors’ Climate Protection Award last year for green building initiatives that incentivize conservation and energy-efficient design features. “We don’t do it just because we get attention. We do it because it’s been […]

Food trucks

The city of San Antonio is preparing to overhaul its regulations of food trucks. In San Antonio, strict mobile food vending laws make it difficult for food trucks to flourish. Acknowledging the need for change, officials are jump-starting a process to get more moveable feasts on the road. City Manager Sheryl Sculley has ordered a […]

Food deserts in Houston

If you listened to the interview I did with CM Stephen Costello, you would have heard him talk about “food deserts” in Houston, which is a problem to which he has turned his attention. This Chron story goes into some detail about that. [Costello] wants Houston’s city government to lure supermarkets to neighborhoods with few […]

The long-term recycling deal

I noticed this when it was posted last week but didn’t give it much thought at the time. There’s a 20-year no-bid contract on today’s City Council agenda. That’s legal because it’s an amendment to an existing contract, not a new contract. But it’s still got Councilman Ed Gonzalez‘s attention. He tagged it last week […]

San Antonio bike share

I love the idea of B-Cycle, San Antonio’s new bike sharing program, I’m just not sure how well it will work. “I think it will encourage faster infrastructure for bike lanes and all the things we need because suddenly it’s there, visitors will use it, and we need to make sure we can get around,” […]

More on Houston’s sustainability efforts

This Trib story about Houston Sustainability Director Laura Spanjian and her efforts to make our fair city a greener place, which also appeared in the Sunday New York Times, can be considered a companion piece to the earlier CultureMap story about her. Since it was in the Times, it’s geared towards a national audience: The […]

Laura Spanjian

Meet Laura Spanjian, the new Director of the city’s sustainability office. She has some ambitious goals. Most ambitious, but most important, to Spanjian is getting every Houstonian access to single-stream, curbside-pickup recycling. You may have heard happy tales of those big green bins-on-wheels that you can throw anything that you even suspect is recyclable into, […]